Call for tougher laws over 'blacklisting' of builders

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The Independent Online

Employment The Government has been urged to take action to outlaw the blacklisting of workers after evidence emerged that the practice was "rampant" in the construction industry.

The building workers' union, Ucatt, has expressed alarm after an investigation by the Information Commissioner's Office found that the Consulting Association, in Droitwich, Worcestershire, had allegedly sold information on around 3,000 workers to construction firms.

Notes about individual workers included descriptions such as "Irish ex-Army, bad egg", while others related to workers who had raised safety issues. The association – which is believed to have ceased trading – faces a £5,000 fine if found guilty of breaching the Data Protection Act.

Alan Ritchie, general secretary of Ucatt, said: "Ucatt members have been working to reduce deaths and injuries on sites and trying to work with companies to achieve these aims. We now know that those same companies have connived to dismiss them and block their future employment."

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